OK – how does this apply to real estate? Try to keep up. Health and Muscle magazines are hugely popular. I flip through them at the checkout just like you do – more than a year since my little man was born and I’m wondering if my abs will ever be flat again. It occurred to me though that no amount of glossy photos or crucial exercise tips could ever give me that muscular definition – I need to get a personal trainer. Aha! Just like a lot of other things in life, browsing is NOT the same as buying. “Browsing” the glossy photos is certainly inspiring, and the latest ab-crunch methods might leave me pain in muscles I didn’t know I had. Unfortunately, “buying” flat abs means sweat and pain. The flatness of my tummy boils down to submitting myself to the accountability and leadership that comes with PROFESSIONAL HELP. Are you with me? Why am I writing this here?
Simple. It seems like everywhere I turn, a client is asking me about the latest nugget from the hip new internet real estate site. Glitzy/Glossy? Yes. Impressive? You bet. Wished I’d thought of it and trying to mimic their success? Definitely. My point is that everywhere you turn, there is a website that has some “new” piece of info that my clients assume I am either ignorant of or am hiding from them. This goes for both buyers and sellers. The internet has made everyone an “expert”.
Aside: Now, I luuuuuv the internet. And I’m trying hard to keep up with all of the latest social media trends
(shameless plug – check me out on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. What?!? There’s more than these?!?).
I will not go into the psychological aspects of our clientele here (although I’m tempted…check back later). What I will do however, is stamp my foot (draw a line in the sand, jut-out my chin, raise my index finger, etc.) and declare that I will play their game and give a lot of money to the website for front page recognition and… WHAT???? WHY???? NO!!!! Maximize the utility of these resources – don’t get “used” by them.
Let me be clear. The internet is a fantastic place to do research. There is a ton of info in a thousand different places – great stuff. YOU need to educate your client about the benefit they receive by using you. If anything, their own research should help you weed out their own mismatched signals of “needs versus desires”. Just because your client uses a large, national, almost monopoly-like internet site as an access point to your market does NOT mean that they don’t need you.
Bottom line? Be confident in your abilities as a professional. Realize that the internet may have brought a client into YOUR gym – YOU be the “personal trainer” and give them the flat abs they saw in the magazines.